In Brief

In Brief Bishop Donal McKeown
 put a
 price tag
 on life,
 pro-life group

Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life group Precious Life has condemned the Irish Family Planning Association for their announcement that abortions will be provided to women from Northern Ireland at a cost of €450. Director of Precious Life, Bernadette Smyth, said, “This is a prime example of the lucrative abortion industry exploiting women for profit,” adding that no amount of money is worth a human life. “Abortion is not healthcare. Abortion kills babies and hurts women. All genuine medical treatment is already provided for pregnant women and their babies in Northern Ireland,” she said.


All human life is

The baby of the Christmas story asks us all to work hard to make the most of the very imperfect circumstances in which we find ourselves,” Derry’s Bishop Donal McKeown said.

Speaking about the Epiphany on January 6, Dr McKeown said that people face many struggles when it comes to having and raising children but that Christmas story suggests that the child’s needs are more important that the adult’s wishes.

“We lose something precious when we cannot bow down before the miracle of human life. It is Good News that all human life is precious before and after birth. It is never good news that human life is officially categorised as disposable,” he said.



The winner of a copy of the 2018 Irish Stamp Yearbook, courtesy of An Post and The Irish Catholic, is Andy Barrett, from Donoughmore, Co. Cork.

The answer to the question posed in the December 20 issue of The Irish Catholic – ‘What city hosted WMOF2018?’ – is ‘Dublin’.


Trolley figures

More than 108,000 patients went without a hospital bed in 2018 – a 9% increase on the previous year. Figures from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation show the highest trolley figures were reached in the first three months of last year. Commenting on the findings, INMO General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghda said there needs to be better focus on dealing with the crisis.

“All of the research internationally tells us that patients who spend time on trolleys have poorer outcomes to their health,” she said, adding that this is “simply not good enough” in our day and age.


 concern for

Affordable housing and jobs are the main concerns among young people across Ireland, according to new research.

A recent British Council survey of over 1,000 
18- to 30-year-olds revealed that the cost of housing was a worry for nine in 10 people in the Republic of Ireland and eight out of 10 in Northern Ireland, while three quarters of young adults on the island also worry about a lack of jobs.

Faith in the political system in the Republic was also an issue with only 1% found to have complete trust in Dáil Éireann. Up to 53% of those surveyed in the Republic felt “very optimistic” or “optimistic” about their own future, but it was just 20% in the North.


 cleanest town

Fermoy has topped the ranking as Ireland’s cleanest town, according to the latest survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), while Waterford took the crown for the country’s most litter-free city.

An Taisce assessed litter levels in 40 towns and cities on behalf of IBAL. This year, it found that just under 90% of areas were clean, with a top tier of 13 towns deemed “cleaner than European Norms”. Praising the Cork town, An Taisce said: “Fermoy’s success, last achieved in 2007, will be marked by a specially commissioned public sculpture in the town.”